President Barack Obama’s chief staffer promised tonight’s State of the Union address “won’t be your traditional policy speech per se.” This will be Obama’s final SOTU.
The president probably has one thing atop his agenda, despite problems plaguing a country divided, at risk of financial volatility, and competing with countries like Russia and China to influence world politics.
Hillary Clinton is facing a stronger challenge than she anticipated in her quest to be the second Clinton to occupy the White House.
The Clintons have actually more or less been right there with Obama all along, however. In a previous column I detailed a majority of ‘Clintonites’ wielding power in the current administration. In other words, the Clintons’ peeps are Obama’s peeps.
As Mrs. Clinton pushes her case before voters, her husband’s administration will receive the scrutiny it should have had as Americans considered a choice for president in the election of 2000. Thus far, Mr. Clinton’s involvement in his wife’s latest efforts for office hasn’t paid off as Democrats anticipated. A major leftist newspaper currently features a story about her “enthusiasm gap” with her competitor Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). A major leftist glossy wonders whether Sanders is “Democrats’ Best Bet.”
Absent Jeb Bush garnering the Republican nomination, the Clinton brand will be challenged. If another Bush opposed her, both candidates would not be able to escape their family’s policies, practices, and outcomes. It appears the third Bush seeking the presidency will not achieve that objective. This leaves the Clinton’s past top of the fold in opposition media and messaging. Advantage: GOP.
Sanders, by the way, has officially claimed himself an independent although he filed as a Democrat to run for the leftist nomination.
Polls reflect a surprise—Sanders is actually giving Mrs. Clinton a bit of a run for her money. Personally, as I have often said on social media, I do not think anyone will deprive Mrs. Clinton of the nomination she considers her property.
Meanwhile, despite claims by Democrats that everything is peachy for those of us in the middle class, everything is more like a sour pickle. We are still ensnared in wars abroad, and in more countries than we were when Obama took office.
Our middle class continues to decline, something even legacy media acknowledge. At the beginning of 2015, Reuters reported on the middle class decline:
“Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.”
By December, 2015, the Pew Research Center found the “middle class is losing ground.”
This comes as no surprise to Main Street. We don’t need studies to tell us we are not better off as we were promised in 2008 and 2012, although the political class is doing very well.
As Americans continue to be perplexed by government on both sides of the aisle, a perfect example of political class cluelessness arose among members of the president’s party. Instead of focusing on reality, Democrats in Congress came up with the idea to “bring Muslims to the State of the Union.”
It’s fine with most of us for Dems to choose whomever they wish to accompany them to the speech. But it sounds so silly to target a faith for special favors, especially as our country struggles to prosecute a defense against jihadists around the globe. Imagine the furor if a political party said, “Bring a Jew to the SOTU.” Or a Christian or Wiccan.
Amid numerous issues competing for the president’s attention, what will likely be the most important on the president’s mind?
I’d wager it will be continuing the status quo. That will require securing the nomination for Mrs. Clinton to advance Democrats’ extreme left agenda on matters such as climate change, open borders, and higher taxes to fund all manner of programs the party dreams up.
You can, as a matter of fact, bank on higher taxes should Obama’s party prevail in 2016, and those higher taxes will even hit the non-pay group in one form or another. Why? For one thing, Obamacare (formally the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) funding has been gutted. Dems have rushed to repeal taxes they claimed would pay for the bill and no one is rushing to implement the government tax bonanza the Cadillac Tax would have been. Unions don’t like that Cadillac Tax and you can bet Dems will not risk losing big labor support.
Dems will seek to spread that tax across the working class.
Obama has a tough brand to promote when it comes to Mrs. Clinton. She has none of the charm, charisma, or appeal her husband or Obama had. She doesn’t have the optics either man had. And she is a known fabricator, despite her cackling commentary about the GOP and “facts.” No one distorts or fabricates “facts” as well as Mrs. Clinton.
Despite naysaying by extreme left media, it is likely Mrs. Clinton will be her party’s nominee. She certainly has the big money donors—Wall Street, trial lawyers, abortion-on-demand groups, and big banks love her. The big banks of course should love her—it was her husband who put taxpayers on the hook to cover bailouts. She will be good to them.
Will America buy what Dems are selling this cycle? It’s hard to tell, but one thing is for sure. The current party of the far left is as far removed from the US middle class as the Sun is from the Earth, and by that I do not mean social issues. What will be different about this SOTU is that the president must convince Americans the policies that have been negative for us will redeem us in the future, that the status quo—Hillary Clinton—is good for the country.
Obama may pull off his objective with SOTU, but it is likely he will be preaching to the choir rather than to converts.
Leftist media will praise the speech. The rest of us will take it for what it is, a well-delivered stump speech.
Featured Image: President Barack Obama’s chief staffer promised tonight’s State of the Union address “won’t be your traditional policy speech per se.” This will be Obama’s final SOTU.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 12, 2016)
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